Whilst we all know that it is inevitable that children will have periods of illness during their time at school, it is essential that we look at ways to minimise this and the impact it has on achievement. Regular and punctual school attendance is essential – only pupils who attend school regularly can take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.
What is good attendance? All pupils should strive towards achieving at least 95% attendance. Once attendance drops to 90% your child is classed by the Department of Education as being ‘Persistently Absent’. 90% attendance is the equivalent of;
- One half-day every week
- Four whole weeks of lessons in the school year
- Half a school year during KS3 and KS4
Children who miss this much school have been proven to drop at least ONE GCSE GRADE. A 1% improvement in attendance could mean a 5% improvement in attainment.
Monitoring attendance. We at Alvechurch Middle School closely monitor all children’s attendance. If we feel concerned we will contact the Education Welfare Officer at Worcestershire County Council for support. You may be contacted either by phone or by letter to discuss any obstacles to regular attendance. However, if attendance does not improve, a meeting may need to be set up with parents to find solutions. All pupils with attendance levels of below 90% will be requested to supply medical evidence for absences. Continued unauthorised absence could lead to a referral to the Education Investigation Service. Full guidance is available by clicking this link
What can parents do. If your child is suffering from a minor ailment such as a cold or a cough please consider sending them to school. We will always send them home if they feel they are too unwell to be here. Keep in contact with us every day to keep us aware of what is wrong and seek advice as to whether your child could even do part of the school day. For absences of 3 days or more, please ensure you seek medical advice and provide a copy for the medical appointment to our school office team in order to authorise absences as illness. With regards to holiday during term time, we do ask that you please ensure you arrange holidays outside of term time – holidays will only ever be authorised by our Headteacher in exceptional circumstances. Please consider when pupils take holidays without notifying the school it can cause stress to our pupils and their friends as they feel pressured into being dishonest.
Towards the end of each term we will always make contact with parents of those pupils who have dropped below 90% attendance. This is to ensure parents are aware of the overall absence for the term with reasons for each absence. This can assist in identifying any ongoing medical problems or issues with school life. We are here to support and encourage pupils and keeping parents informed ensures we are working together and in the best interest for pupils.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance or would like any advice you are more than welcome to contact Mrs Rees who is more than happy to assist.